The Charlotte Bobcats clinched their first-ever Playoffs berth during the 2009-10 season. Two seasons later, during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, they struggled and posted an NBA-worst record of 7-59, losing their last 23 games of the season.
Despite the hardships since taking over two years ago, owner/NBA legend Michael Jordan says he’s committed to the team for the “long haul,” no matter how bad it gets. The ultra-competitive MJ said despite watching his club “hit rock bottom” during the most miserable season in NBA history, he’s willing to see them through a turn around… and knows it won’t be easy or quick.
“Are we a playoff team? C’mon, we can’t expect that,” Jordan said Thursday (November 1). “But we need to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I’m not real happy about the record book scenario last year. It’s very, very frustrating.”
Charlotte’s 7-59 record last season landed in the record books, earning them the top spot for worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history.
Jordan, who won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, is doing things to hopefully start to turn things around in hiring new coach Mike Dunlap. He has a back-to-basics approach to coaching basketball — something Jordan said has been missing in Charlotte.
“For years those steps have been skipped,” Jordan said. “… We don’t have a star that can carry the team, so you’ve got to learn to play together. That is what I love about (Dunlap). He’s going to get back to the basics with good passes, pivots, boxing out, running, taking care of the ball and taking good shots. All of the things that were lost.”
The next step for Jordan and the Bobcats, he says, is to establish a culture within their organization… so hopefully, in the future, big name free agents will want to come to Charlotte.
“Last year, we went through the process of stripping down the organization and trying to build that back up,” Jordan said. “And this is another step toward that. Getting a young coach who understands our vision about what type of team we want to be and then being able to go pluck some of these (free agents) to mesh with what we have.”
The Bobcats will open the 2012-13 season on Friday (November 2) against the Indiana Pacers. It airs on NBA League Pass at 7pm EST.